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Posts for: April, 2020

Trying to find ways to keep your children (and yourself) active during the shelter at home orders can be difficult. This week I was surfing the web trying to find different activities to do with my kids because they are growing bored of our daily walks. The current recommendations for physical exercise for children by age: (https://brightfutures.aap.org/Bright%20Futures%20Documents/BF4_PhysicalActivity.pdf)


  • 1-3 years: at least 60 min of unstructured (free play) physical activity, at least 30 min should be structured (planned by adult)

  • 5-21 years: 60 min of physical activity each day, most of that time should be moderate or vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity. 3 days per week should be vigorous, 3 days a week should be muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activity


Here are some ideas:

Fun family fitness article:






Workout apps:


Free workout websites:


Lets keep our kids healthy!

Nicole Abdy, MD


For those interested in how COVID-19 has been affecting children, here are some statistics from the CDC.


As of April 6th, the CDC released data on how children in the U.S. have been affected. 1.7% of laboratory confirmed cases occurred in children under the age of 18 years. However, we must realize that given the screening recommendations, this percentage may be underestimated. Furthermore, the proportion of patients for which data like symptoms (9%), underlying conditions (13%), and hospitalization status (33%) was relatively low. 91% of children with known exposures were from the community or household.


The most common symptoms found were:

  • Fever, cough, OR shortness of breath (73% compared to 93% of adults)

    • 56% had fever

    • 54% had cough

    • 13% had shortness of breath

  • Headache (28%), sore throat (24%), body aches (23%), diarrhea (13%), nausea/vomiting (11%) and runny nose (7%)


Demographic data:

  • Ages: of all reported cases

    • 32% were aged 15-17 years

    • 27% were aged 10-14 years

    • 15% were aged 5-9 years

    • 15% were aged <1 year

    • 11% were aged 1-4 years

  • Of those for which data was known, 5.7-20% of kids were hospitalized. 0.58-2% were admitted to the intensive care unit

    • Children < 1-yr accounted for highest percentage of hospitalized patients


Underlying conditions:

  • 23% had at least 1 underlying condition. The most common were:

    • Chronic lung disease (including asthma)

    • Cardiovascular disease

    • Immunosuppression

Kids don't just get sick Monday through Friday.  So we are excited to offer telemedicine sick visits on weekends from 9-11am and 3-5pm both Saturday and Sunday.  This gives families with sick kids the option of checking in with one of the doctors at Mesquite Pediatrics without waiting for Monday to come around.  It allows people to get care from a pediatrician they know and trust instead of only having the option of going to a retail-based clinic (i.e. Minute Clinic) or urgent care center where they would likely see a nurse practitioner who doesn't know their child and doesn't have access to their medical history.  To use this option, just go to our home page and click the telemedicine link near the top.  Then click on the "Weekend Waiting Room" to connect to the telemedicine site.  The doctor will connect with you shortly!

April 08, 2020
Category: Uncategorized
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At this unprecedented time we have taken drastic measures to help keep our patients and staff safe.  That has meant canceling a majority of patient visits to our office.  One of the results of that change has been that, as a business, we are suffering greatly.  Our physicians are no longer taking a salary and our staff has had their hours cut.  Still, at this rate we may be unable to pay our staff at all within the next few months.  Therefore, we find it necessary as a small business to look for new ways to generate revenue.  So beginning Monday, April 6, we will start charging when your physicians answer telephone calls or portal messages.  Many insurance companies were already paying for these services and that has expanded with the crisis, so it is likely that most patients will not have to pay out of pocket.  Any insurance plans that do bill families for this probably do so based on the decision of the employer providing the insurance (so talk to your HR department).  We also recognize that a lot of our families are suffering financially as a result of this crisis, so we encourage anyone receiving a bill from us for any service who feels paying the bill will be a hardship to call and speak with our office manager about delayed payments and payment plans.

Some things to know about how this works:

  • The amount of the charge is based on the length of the call or the time it takes to answer the portal message, with the charge based on rates set by the federal government
  • Most will be charged at the lowest time category, which will be $22 for phone calls and $23 for portal messages
  • These charges will usually be steeply discounted by the insurance companies so the actual payment will be significantly less
  • If the communication is about an office visit within the last 7 days or leads to a visit in the next 24 hours, then there is no charge
  • Only 1 phone call per week will be billed for any specific issue

Again, we regret having to make this change at this time but we find it necessary to help ensure that we can stay open and continue to provide our patients with care when they need it.

I know we are all experiencing stress with COVID-19, whether its medical, financial, or emotional. Learning physical distancing and sheltering at home is a new concept in our country, but the data shows that it works and can help keep us safe. For many parents, my family included, there are concerns about keeping your family safe while balancing work and helping educate your children. I know this is a tough balance, but we will adjust, balance all these things, and become stronger in the end. Hopefully, your children will look back at this as special time where they got to spend time with you and your family bond strengthens.


I wanted to stress the importance of emotional well-being. This is not only important for yourself, but also for your children. There is more information coming out daily about this and we will add in more links for you to reference. Making or sticking to routines are going to be a key to success. It maybe helpful for you to sit down as a family and make the schedule together. This way everyone is on the same page and your children feel they can have input as well. Being anxious is understandable, but learning when and how you express those concerns will be important to minimize the exposure to your children.



While we recommend sheltering at home, we do want you to get out of the house. Taking walks, playing outdoors (while distancing from others), and other forms of physical activity in or around your house are important for the whole family. Trying new activities, playing new games like setting up outdoor scavenger hunts will he helpful in our emotional well-being. For parents trying to balance this new way of life, I wanted to give some links to resources for activities that you can have your children do or you do with them. There are free resources for learning, reading, and access to museums/zoos online.



I wanted to share a couple pictures of my kids engaging in some fun activities at home. My daughter finished a sticker by number art project. My kids in our daily indoor exercise activities trying to challenge mom and dad in our flexibility.


Nicole Abdy, MD